DNA Detective
The Caiman Caper Part 1
Phone

By looking at the pattern on the reptile skins, the officer had a hunch they were made from Yacaré caiI'm Innocent!man, a relative of the crocodile and alligator.

My blood started to boil. “But the Yacaré caiman is a protected species,” I said into the phone. “Bringing skins of that animal into the U.S. is against the law!”

“Exactly!” said the guy at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “That’s why the officer seized the shoes and handbags from the reptile skin importer.”

“So, what’s the problem?” I asked.

“The importer said it was not a protected caiman,” he said.

The importer claimed that it‘s impossible to tell the difference between caimans just by comparing skin patterns. This disagreement went to court. And that‘s where I came to the rescue.

 

Part 2